Former Vanderbilt employee hopes legal action will help others - WKRN News 2

Former Vanderbilt employee hopes legal action will help others

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

A Rutherford County mother of three who lost her job at Vanderbilt Medical Center hopes legal action will make a difference for others in her situation.

Tracy Morton worked at the hospital for 12 years.

She was a Certified Nursing Assistant who says she loved her job and planned to spend the remainder of her career at the hospital.

However, in July Morton was among more than 300 employees who were fired because of what the hospital called "budgetary issues."

"I felt lost and thrown out and dejected and I know my fellow employees also felt the same way," Morton told Nashville's News 2.

Last week, Vanderbilt University Medical Center announced an additional 1,033 cuts.

Unlike Morton and others let go in July, employees in the latest round of firings were given 60 days notice.

"That's more of a slap in the face," said Morton. "These people meant more it seems like."

Morton hired two top Nashville attorneys who filed a lawsuit last Thursday on her behalf.

George Barrett and Jerry Martin claim the hospital violated the WARN Act which requires employers to give 60 days notice prior to a mass termination.

They say Morton and the others in July should have been given that same notice in compliance with federal law.

They are asking for back pay for all of the workers let go during the summer.  

Morton told News 2 she has since found another job and is studying to become a registered nurse.

She says she worries about the future of her friends and former co-workers who are still employed at the hospital.

"They're worried, they're scared about when and if they're going to lose their jobs," Morton said.

Barrett and Martin told News 2 they have heard from more than 100 laid off workers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center. They are investigating each case and say additional lawsuits are possible.

Morton says she still has many questions for her former employer.

"I do understand they've lost some of their government funding. However, whenever they're continuing to build that makes me wonder what is more important, their employees and their families and the job they do or still expanding to get more revenue?"

Monday afternoon Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokesperson John Howser told News 2, "There is no basis for this lawsuit and we are confident that we will prevail."

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